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Age-dependent vitreous separation from the macula in a clinic population

Authors Syed Z, Stewart M

Received 1 November 2015

Accepted for publication 19 May 2016

Published 7 July 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1237—1243

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S99635

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Zahid Syed,1 Michael W Stewart2

1Georgetown University, Washington, DC, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Mayo School of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL, USA

Background: Vitreous degeneration begins soon after birth and accelerates throughout life. Vitreous liquefaction with a slowly progressive separation of the posterior hyaloid from the peripheral macula usually leads to complete posterior vitreous detachment. The purpose of this study is to measure the age-related prevalence of partial vitreous separation and the length of residual vitreous adhesion in an ophthalmology clinic population.
Methods: Patients examined by the senior author (MWS) during a 6-month period were included in a retrospective chart review. Demographic data and spectral domain optical coherence tomography scan results were gathered. Data analysis with descriptive statistics focused on the prevalence and extent of partial vitreous separation.
Results: The mean age of the study patients was 69.9 years, and 62% were phakic. The highest prevalence of partial posterior hyaloid separation from the internal limiting membrane (71.2%) was seen in the 50- to 54-year age group. This prevalence rate steadily decreased to 5.6% in the 95- to 99-year age group. The prevalence of complete vitreous detachment as determined by slit-lamp biomicroscopy increased from 1.7% in the <50-year age group to a maximum of 29.2% in the 75- to 79-year group. The length of vitreomacular adhesion averaged 4.6 mm in the 50- to 54-year age group and steadily decreased to 2.1 mm in the 90- to 95-year group.
Conclusion: Vitreomacular separation affects the majority of eyes in the sixth decade of life. The prevalence of partial vitreous separation decreases with advancing age, probably because an increasing number of these patients progress to complete posterior vitreous detachment.

Keywords: optical coherence tomography, posterior hyaloid, posterior vitreous detachment, syneresis, vitreomacular adhesion, vitreous degeneration

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